Peterson, C., Noel, M., Kippenhuck, L., Harmundal, L., & Vincent, C.D. (in press). Early memories of children and adults: Implications for infantile amnesia. Cognitive Sciences.

How readily children in grades 2, 5, and 8/9 as well as adults could access early memories was assessed by a memory fluency task: participants recalled as many memories as possible from before starting school in a timed 4-minute task. They also provided their first memory. Although the memory fluency task could be successfully used with all ages, grade 2 children recalled fewer memories than older participants, who did not differ. They also recalled more memories from earlier ages than did adults, and grade 5 children tended to do so too. Grades 2 and 5 children also had earlier first memories. Gender differences were absent for children but were related to methodology for adults. Emotional valence of memories also differed across age. Findings show that infantile amnesia changes with age, with children demonstrating less access to their earliest memories as they get older.